News: March Madness and work: How much does it really impact productivity?

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March Madness and work: How much does it really impact productivity?

HR professionals noted concerns about decreased productivity (22%), resource misuse (21%), inappropriate behavior (16%), gambling policy violations (13%), and time-off request management (11%).
March Madness and work: How much does it really impact productivity?

March Madness, a highly anticipated event in spring, can also pose a significant distraction in the workplace. It is the annual college basketball tournament, often spills over into the workplace, presenting both opportunities for camaraderie and challenges for productivity. 

With the tournament's games spread across weekdays, many employees find themselves drawn to watching the action unfold during work hours. As per a survey conducted by Paychex, 28% of employees have watched March Madness while on the job, averaging about two hours of viewing per weekday. 

Although approximately 26% of these individuals confessed to being caught watching, a striking 69% reported not facing any reprimand for their actions. In terms of work arrangements, the survey revealed that the highest percentage of employees engaging in March Madness viewing while working belonged to the hybrid setup, with 31% admitting to doing so. 

Meanwhile, remote workers accounted for 25%, and those solely in the office made up 28% of viewers, according to Paychex. HR professionals identified several key issues associated with employees watching March Madness: 

  • Decreased productivity (22%) 
  • Misuse of company resources (21%) 
  • Inappropriate workplace behaviour (16%) 
  • Gambling policy violations (13%) 
  • Difficulty managing time-off requests (11%) 

According to a 2023 study, the tournament could potentially incur over $17 billion in lost productivity for employers. Workplace policies surrounding March Madness vary, with a significant portion (30%) having no formal policies in place, according to findings from Paychex. 

However, despite the absence of explicit guidelines, these workplaces still expect their employees to maintain productivity. Meanwhile, 26% of workplaces permit employees to engage with March Madness activities strictly during breaks or lunch hours. Approximately a quarter (25%) of HR professionals recommend finding a balance between work and enjoyment of the event to ensure productivity during March Madness. 

Another 20% advocate for promoting event-based team-building activities as a means of managing the tournament's impact on productivity. The insights from the Paychex study were drawn from a survey involving 851 employees and 151 HR professionals. Among the employees surveyed, 30% were in a hybrid work setting, while 36% worked in-office, and the remaining 34% worked remotely.

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Topics: #Culture, #Productivity, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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